How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful?

Mold exists virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and has a large variety of species. While mold has many beneficial functions, such as breaking down waste products and organic matter that includes garbage, dead trees, and leaves, exposure to mold also has a big downside in residences and buildings that have moisture. This can create a perfect breeding ground for mold in unwanted environments. 

Exposure to mold can be problematic for people, although it affects everyone differently. While many people may not even be aware that mold is around them, others can easily get sick by breathing it in. Understanding the dangers, identifying who is the most vulnerable, and offering solutions can help keep you protected from mold exposure. 

Exposure to Mold

Mold needs both a food and moisture source to start growing. Under the proper conditions, mold can grow rapidly, releasing spores along with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may cause some people to feel ill. While mold spores are mostly inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin or consumed if present on food. 

  • Outdoors: Mold is virtually everywhere outdoors however, concentrations of mold are quite limited. The mold growing outdoors does not produce enough sports to be extremely dangerous for those who are vulnerable.
  • Indoors: Mold growing indoors is far more problematic due to a lack of airflow within the confined space. There are also more opportunities for it to locate moist areas within food sources, leading to them multiplying. This is especially true after a flooding event. 

There are different varieties of mold, including black mold which may or may not cause serious health issues. Regardless, exposure to mold of any type can be problematic, especially for those who have underlying health issues and are more susceptible to illness.

Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure

For those with a mold allergy, this can represent a significant respiratory issue. Those with underlying health issues such as respiratory illness, asthma, lung disease, COPD, and immune suppression are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure. 

Exposure to mold may cause a variety of conditions ranging from coughing and sneezing to itchy skin, headaches, and even dizziness. While such symptoms may be the sign of other illnesses or types of infection, those who experience such symptoms should inform their doctor and request getting checked for mold infection. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned that mold may be present in your home or workplace, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental for assistance today. The trained technicians at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the mold from your property. 

For more information on mold exposure, click here to visit the CDC website.

Runoff-Induced Erosion

Water runoff can cause soil to erode and wash away. While erosion is a natural process, when it occurs on land that is occupied by humans it can become problematic. The urbanization of the landscape, particularly the soil compaction that occurs under buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. has the potential to increase the threat of erosion. 

Four Erosion Types

Of the different types of runoff-induced erosion, there are four that are considered the most prominent.

  • Sheet: This is one of the most common forms of erosion with sheets of water moving across the surface. This can result in the transportation of the soil by raindrops. The sheet effect may also cause the soil particles to become loose due to the movement of other soil particles because of the rain intensity. 

 

  • Rill: A rill is a narrow, long depression or incision in the soil that has a depth of less than 75mm. In essence, this is a micro-channel that when found along hill slopes may allow for a greater flow of water caused by precipitation. 

 

  • Gully: These form as a result of rills that get deeper than 75mm. When the water flows into a gully, it can start to remove the sediment at a faster rate. This is especially true if the gullies are located on a slope. The water flows through a gully at a faster rate compared to flowing over the soil. The result is a dramatic increase in the erosion rate of the soil.

 

  • Channel: This occurs along the banks and beds of stream channels. When the water flow increases, erosion may occur at a greater rate. Such increases in water flow in channels may happen because of soil compaction due to the presence of sidewalks, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that only accelerate the water into streams.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

The erosion process from sheet to channel is not an inevitable one and is dependent upon several different factors. When left untreated, these may progress over time and become harmful to your environment. Depending on if the property in question is occupied or not will determine the strategy of remediation. Having a great strategy is imperative to find a solution to your soil erosion problem.

For specific recommendations and procedures required to manage your soil contamination and remediation issues, the best solution is to call Brickley Environmental who are the experts and more importantly have the expertise for soil remediation issues throughout all of Southern California.

For more information on soil remediation, visit the Natural Resources Defense Council website here.

paint over the danger of lead

Paint Over the Danger of Lead

painting lead
Paint Over the Danger of Lead

Lead was present in paint prior to 1978. It provided strength and durability, but it also created a serious health risk to those living inside the home, particularly children. Lead has not been included in paint for over four decades. There are still thousands of homes that have lead paint inside. 

The lead paint may be under layers of newer paint that keep the exposure to a minimum. Renovation projects may uncover the paint and cause the lead to enter the atmosphere. Studies have shown that upwards of 30% of lead poisoning cases in children were caused when the old lead paint was exposed due to renovation. This means that testing for lead becomes paramount before any work is done on the property. 

Not Testing for the Presence of Lead

Many government officials including health, building, and fire safety inspectors have little to no training when it comes to lead poisoning despite the health risks. This is partly due to the slow, long-term effects of lead that often go unnoticed for months, if not years. Children who are most vulnerable may not show signs of lead poisoning until considerable damage has been done to their brain and nervous systems. 

The lack of action may be due in large part to not wanting to believe that lead is present. The presence of lead may go undetected for many years. Testing is relatively inexpensive, but the removal of the lead may cost a considerable amount. 

Test for Lead Paint

If your home, office, or facility was built before 1978, there is a good possibility that it has lead paint present. You should test for the presence of lead paint. Even if you are not planning a renovation, you may want to test for the presence of lead just in case. 

If you believe that lead may be present in your home, do not attempt to remove it by yourself. Instead, call the experts who have years of experience in identifying and removing lead from properties just like yours. Brickley Environmental is here to help. 

Why Call Brickley Environmental? 

Brickley Environmental will test for the presence of lead and initiate removal procedures to ensure that it is gone from your home or building. Do not wait, call Brickley Environmental today and let their experts inspect and remove the lead from your property. 

Please call your doctor or visit the CDC’s website for more information if you believe you may have been exposed to lead or have lead poisoning.

For more information on how Brickley Environmental can help, check out our Services page!

E-waste – A Toxic Waste Stream

e-waste

E-Waste consists of discarded electronic parts. It is quickly becoming one of the largest disposal issues. Finding ways to properly dispose of electronic panels, computers, mobile devices, and other scrap electronic devices are becoming quite problematic. 

This is especially true in developing countries where advances in digital technology are rapidly rising. The lack of recycling e-waste is leading to rising health concerns. 

The Buildup of E-Waste

The reason why electronic waste is becoming a greater issue is because of advancing technology. Today’s computers, mobile devices, and other technology are much more advanced compared to a decade ago. It’s easy to see why older devices have become obsolete. E-waste can be harmless in small amounts, but become an environmental issue when collected in large quantities.

Recycling Efforts

Even though many old electronic devices are still usable with some containing valuable materials, recycling of such devices is still quite small. This is because of the difficulties in breaking down old electronic waste, extracting the valuable materials, and dealing with the issues of possible toxic substances. 

But the advantages of recycling starts with the toxic substances that are not buried and left to leak into local water supplies. Plus, many of the components can be used again and again without degradation. The solutions include the following:

  • Using devices for as long as practical
  • Identifying recycling locations
  • Giving away older devices that might be of use to others 

There is a multitude of rules and regulations regarding the proper disposal of old devices. There is also a lack of recycling facilities. This can be a difficult issue to solve.

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

The experts at Brickley Environmental can help if your company is disposing of old electronic devices, computers, and the like. There may be some e-waste that is recyclable which means that your company or others can use it for their needs. Call Brickley Environmental today and talk to the experts who can help you properly dispose of the e-waste that is on your property. 

For more information on E-Waste, please visit the EPA website.

Asbestos: Past, Present, and Future

asbestos

Asbestos is a natural substance. It is a mineral that consists of thin fibers that form when it crystalizes. These long fibers provide it with its ability to resist fire, but they also make it a danger to human health.

Although most people associate it with fireproofing buildings, this mineral has been used for thousands of years. 

History

Because the fibers are flexible, ancient societies that mined and used the substance considered it a fiber similar to wood and other linens. It’s fireproof qualities soon became evident as discovered on the island of Cyprus where asbestos was abundant. 

By the early Medieval era which included prominent figures such as Marco Polo, asbestos was commonly used as fireproofing material. Although it was still used for making clothing with those wearing the items unaware of the danger it presented to their health. 

Today

By the mid-20th century, it was used for many different items which included shoes, filters for cigarettes, wicks, and even artificial snow. There was an abundance of it and it could be used for many different purposes.

People began to realize the negative effects on the lungs around the late 1960’s. A condition first called “mountain linen lung” was coined for those who suffered this condition. This later became known as mesothelioma. 

Future

It is still being used today in certain limited forms. However, it was banned in the 1970’s. You may find small amounts of asbestos used in electrical devices or appliances which are sealed to limit exposure. There are still countries that use asbestos commonly, such as China, Brazil, and India, although its dangers are now being addressed. 

However, the widespread use of asbestos for homes and commercial structures means that there is still plenty of material present when it was installed legally before the late 1970s. If you suspect that your home or building has it present, then you should give Brickley Environmental a call for more information. 

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

The experts at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, skill, and equipment to safely remove asbestos from residences, offices, and facilities. Their experts can answer your questions about the possible presence of asbestos, explain the services provided, and even send out a representative upon your request to discover if asbestos is present. 

Brickley Environmental will offer a free quote for removal services. All will be removed in a safe manner that complies with local, state, and federal laws. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, office, or facility, call Brickley Environmental for more information today. 

For more information on asbestos, please visit OSHA.

For more about how Brickley Environmental handles asbestos, visit this page.